It’s becoming more commonplace for Baby Boomers to be caregivers of their elderly parents in this day and age. People are living longer lives, costs of everything from food to medicine to health insurance are going up, and the economy is still not thriving as much as it once did.
Baby Boomers feel that they have to help their parents out as much as possible. While that is definitely admirable, Baby Boomers must remember to take care of themselves too, or their efforts to help their parents may not benefit them as much as they could. Learn more about what Baby Boomers can do to help themselves as well below.
It’s important for Baby Boomers to ask for help in taking care of their parents when they need to. It’s impossible for any one or two people to take care of everything involved in taking care of elderly parents; no one or two people should be expected to do everything.
If you and your spouse try to do everything, it could hinder the help that is provided, plus put you and your spouse at risk physically, mentally, and emotionally. Therefore, be willing to ask nearby relatives to assist where possible, even if just cooking a meal once or twice a week.
If asking nearby relatives is not an option, consider hiring professional help to give you the assistance you need. Programs like Meals on Wheels and/or the local senior center are other options for you to consider as well. This can be especially helpful if you and your spouse are still working at full-time positions.
It is vital that you provide a safe environment for your parent or parents. This means installing ramps or a stair lift in place of stairs, since stairs lead to a greater chance of falling for your elderly parents.
Install safety rails next to the toilet, shower, and bathtub to help ensure they remain safe when using the restroom. You should always have smoke detectors, but your elderly parents may not hear the siren if they have trouble hearing, so utilize smoke detectors with strobe lights so your parents can see them and react to them if the need arises.
Taking care of your elderly parents can certainly be a challenge for both them and for you. Certainly, they don’t want to have to depend on you because they’ve never been in that situation before, but sometimes, the circumstances necessitate their assistance from or even dependence on you.
By the same token, you want to provide them with the help they need as they helped you when you were younger, but you often have your own family to continue raising, as well as full-time work. It’s not an easy task, and you shouldn’t feel as if you have to do it alone. Get nearby relatives to help you whenever possible, and if that isn’t an option, consider hiring professional help to assist you.
By planning ahead and taking the necessary steps to get the assistance you need, you can provide your elderly parents with the help they need without having it being a burden on you, your spouse, and your family.